FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Longer We Stay, the Deeper They Will Hate Us

by RON JACOBS

 

Let’s see: the US forces are arresting Iraqi workers who were protesting the treatment of unemployed Iraqi workers by occupation forces and U.S. corporations granted contracts for work in Iraq; the United Nations headquarters in Iraq is bombed because of its complicity in the colonial government that the US is trying to form and its role in the devastating sanctions that cleared the way for the US/UK war on Iraq; the US is getting ready to deport hundreds of men who were picked up in recent roundups of Middle Eastern and other Asians who had problems with their INS status; and, just for good measure, Rumsfeld has given the US the go-ahead to resume flights designed to intercept or shoot down supposed drug flights. Oh yeah, the New York Times and John McCain have asked that more troops be sent to Iraq.

As the son of a veteran and the sibling of another, I am always dumbstruck when I hear old soldiers make these kinds of statements. What, I wonder, is going on in their brain? How can they wish their children and grandchildren to be put in harms way for no discernible reason? Didn’t their combat experience–especially for those who served in Vietnam or Korea–prove to them that wars fought for no reasons other than empire and its accompanying greed are exercises in futility? Don’t they remember the hatred they felt from the locals in the countries they swaggered through or (in McCain’s case) bombed from the sky? Didn’t they recognize that the longer they and their fellow soldiers stayed in country, the deeper that hatred became?

What kind of idiots do they take us for? They lied to get us into their war (and about the consequences) and now they expect us to believe that a few hundred thousand more of our boys and girls in uniform sweating in the desert sun with their fingers on the trigger of their automatic weapons will get the results the Pentagon wants? For those of you who dont know the routine: this is what the Pentagon always says. The war on Vietnam was started with only a few thousand GIs. Then, when the Vietnamese resistance refused to roll over and die–choosing instead to attack US and other foreign troops at will–we were told that more troops were needed to accomplish Washington’s goal. Unless that goal was the slaughter and wounding of millions and the destruction of their country (which it may have been), no stated goal was ever accomplished. The war on Korea was started under similar circumstances. It ended with no borders changing and millions of people dead and wounded. Hell, they didn’t even sign a peace treaty in that one.

What is going on in Iraq is the very quagmire Bush and Blair were warned against. Unless we want it to grow, it is essential that we insist on the combat in Iraq being a major campaign issue. No candidate should get away without stating his/her position clearly and unequivocally. The duty of those forces arrayed against the war before it began need to get back in the streets and make it clear that we will not be fooled. While we regret the lives of those foreign soldiers and civilians who have died in this war as much as we regret the lives of the Iraqis killed and destroyed, we know better than to believe that sending more occupation forces and carpetbaggers to Iraq will justify their deaths. There can be no justification for them. They will only be honored when their brothers and sisters in arms are brought home.

This won’t happen unless we make it happen. Even supposedly antiwar politicians won’t call for this because they fear being labeled unpatriotic. Because they are so close to the seat of power they think they have too much to lose. We have nothing to lose but the lives of our children, siblings, and lovers and, if we wait too long, perhaps what remains of our freedom. Unless the movement against the occupation and for an immediate withdrawal becomes a movement even more popular than the movement against the war, those of us who already are part of it could easily end up isolated and irrelevant or imprisoned.

Why do you think John Ashcroft is on the warpath defending the PATRIOT Acts?

RON JACOBS is author of The Way the Wind Blew: a history of the Weather Underground.

He can be reached at: rjacobs@zoo.uvm.edu

 

Ron Jacobs is the author of Daydream Sunset: Sixties Counterculture in the Seventies published by CounterPunch Books. He lives in Vermont. He can be reached at: ronj1955@gmail.com.

May 04, 2016
Kshama Sawant
It’s Not About Bernie: Why We Can’t Let Our Revolution Die in Philadelphia
Conn Hallinan
Baiting the Bear: Russia and NATO
Joshua Frank
Hanford’s Leaky Nuke Tanks and Sick Workers, A Never-Ending Saga
Paul Craig Roberts
TIPP: Advancing American Imperialism
Ted Rall
Hillary to Bernie Supporters: Don’t Vote for Me!
Eric Draitser
Hillary Clinton and Wall Street’s Neoliberal War on Latin America
Leslie Scott
The Story of Jill Stein: Putting People, Peace and the Planet Before Profits
Ann Garrison
Building the Greens Into a Mass Party: Interview with Bruce Dixon
Tom Clifford
Crying Rape: Trump’s Slurs Against China
Lawrence Davidson
Getting Rid of Bad Examples: Andrew Jackson & Woodrow Wilson
Ellen Brown
Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California?
Nelson Valdes
Is Fidel Castro Outside or Part of Mainstream Thinking? A Selection of Quotes
Jesse Jackson
Don’t Send Flint Down the Drain: Fix It!
Nathan Riley
Help Bernie Keep His Halo
Rivera Sun
Remembering Nonviolent History: Freedom Rides
Clancy Sigal
Rachel and the Isolationists: How Maddow Blew It
Laura Finley
Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”
CJ Hopkins
Coming this Summer … Revenge of the Bride of Sophie’s Choice
May 03, 2016
Gary Leupp
Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Resumé: What the Record Shows
Michèle Brand – Arun Gupta
What is the “Nuit Debout”?
Chuck Churchill
The Failures of Capitalism, Donald Trump and Right Wing Terror
Dave Marsh
Bernie and the Greens
John Wight
Zionism Should be on Trial, Not Ken Livingstone
Rev. John Dear
A Dweller in Peace: the Life and Times of Daniel Berrigan
Patrick Cockburn
Saudi Arabia’s Great Leap Forward: What Would Mao Think?
Doug Johnson Hatlem
Electoral Votes Matter: Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders vs Donald Trump
Chris Gilbert
Venezuela Today: This Must Be Progress
Pepe Escobar
The Calm Before the Coming Global Storm
Ruth Fowler
Intersecting with the Identity Police (Or Why I Stopped Writing Op-Eds)
Victor Lasa
The Battle Rages on in Spain: the Country Prepares for Repeat Elections in June
Jack Rasmus
Is the US Economy Heading for Recession?
Dean Baker
Time for an Accountable Federal Reserve
Ted Rall
Working for US Gov Means Never Saying Sorry
Dave Welsh
Hunger Strikers at Mission Police Station: “Stop the execution of our people”
John Eskow
The Death of Prince and the Death of Lonnie Mack
May 02, 2016
Michael Hudson – Gordon Long
Wall Street Has Taken Over the Economy and is Draining It
Paul Street
The Bernie Fade Begins
Ron Jacobs
On the Frontlines of Peace: the Life of Daniel Berrigan
Louis Yako
Dubai Transit
Bill Quigley
Teacher, Union Leader, Labor Lawyer: Profile of Chris Williams Social Justice Advocate
Patrick Cockburn
Into the Green Zone: Iraq’s Disintegrating Political System
Lawrence Ware
Trump is the Presidential Candidate the Republicans Deserve
Ron Forthofer
Just Say No to Corporate Rule
Ralph Nader
The Long-Distance Rebound of Bernie Sanders
Ken Butigan
Remembering Daniel Berrigan, with Gratitude
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail